MAPLE EXPERIENCE Athena Bakalos works behind the counter at Maple Roch.There are between 85 and 100 students in the program each year. (Photo submitted)

Summerland students learn job skills through work experience program

High school program provides opportunities to learn new workplace skills

  • May. 3, 2019 10:31 a.m.

By Joshua Oggelsby

The work experience program at Summerland Secondary School is going to be finishing up its 26th year in June and looks to continue to be going strong for years to come.

The program in Summerland started in 1993 by Alden Roberge and has been rolling smoothly ever since.

The program was originally launched by the provincial Ministry of Education.

“Both school sponsored career exploration and community based work experience are intended to help prepare students for the transition from secondary school to the world of work or further education training,” a statement from the Ministry of Education reads.

“However in work experience, the community is the classroom where students gain knowledge and experience about the workplace and are provided with a frame of reference to review or revise their career goals.”

READ ALSO: Summerland students meet with trades employers

READ ALSO: Province gives $5.4 million to trades training

Charles Lay, a teacher at Summerland Secondary School, is the director of the program. He has nothing but great things to say about it and can’t stress enough how important it is for the students.

“This year the program saw around 85 to 100 students participate and it’s a great thing to see. We usually get around 100 students per year participating in the program” Lay said.

Work experience provides students the opportunity to be exposed to learning new skills that will connect to a wide variety of jobs.

Students also have the ability to work in many different professions such as trades, professional businesses such as dental, law and newspaper offices, as well as the entrepreneurial businesses.

Not only does work experience provide students with new skills it also gives them the ability to showcase some of their own and build on them as they continue to work in a professional environment.

The program has also seen many students gain full time employment after the program was finished and this is a great thing to see out of the program.

“The program can’t happen with out the community and and we would like to thank them for continued support of the program” said Lay.

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BEHIND THE COUNTER Riley Douthwright prepares a drink for a customer at The Beanery. (Photo submitted)

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